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   RE: [xml-dev] accountability, code inspection

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On Mon, 2002-04-22 at 12:02, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
> Industrial use of Internet business services that are characterized 
> as frequent and business critical will be subject to contract language 
> that describes the performance and reliability aspects of these services. 
> In some cases, the details of the process to be performed will be 
> described in tedious detail.  Auditability of transactions will be 
> required as well.   Lifecycle is specified such that a service or 
> architecture that doesn't last has to be upgraded at cost to the 
> provider typically under the maintenance provisions of the 
> service contract.   That makes it incumbent on the provider to build to 
> standards and specifications that will last and to escrow or 
> provide source for any code that might not.

For better or worse, I think the environment you're describing is only a
small part of the technology universe.  To some extent it's that only
organizations of a certain size can invest the time in such contracts,
but even such contract-based organizations often have technology arrive
through backdoors or upgrades.

Industrial users are wise to protect themselves this way - ripping
plumbing out of a factory (to extend the metaphor) is much more
difficult than ripping plumbing out of a house or office, though neither
is pleasant.  

Unfortunately, my experience (and worse, my behavior on prior projects)
suggests that such careful procurement is hardly the rule.  Even people
who are away of the risks of "caveat vendor" often find themselves bound
in unexpected ways, and telling the future is difficult.

There's no Underwriters Laboratory here.  It seems to me that xml-dev
offers at least discussion, if not formal testing, with a bit more care
taken than a lot of other sources of information.  To me, that's hugely

Simon St.Laurent
Ring around the content, a pocket full of brackets
Errors, errors, all fall down!


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